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A Prestige Workaround


Replies to: A Prestige Workaround

  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
    OP, I love your creative question. You're right, prestige does matter, but it's not everything and maybe we do need to consider some work-arounds. A strategy we used with D's high school internship supervisors--people who we knew in a few years could potentially hire her--was to educate them about the academic program at the college D will be attending in the fall. D's school is good but not well-known in general, and totally unknown to these gentlemen. Since they work at a state institution, it was clear they were only familiar with regional state schools. In their minds, the prestigious programs in D's field were at several non-flagship state colleges where some prominent colleague or another was teaching. Now, I was not at all opposed to considering a state university for D, and in fact we had already checked out the particular schools they recommended. I am certain there was a reason they thought highly of them, but what was frustrating to us was a) their OOS price tag, b) large size that was not a good fit for D, and most importantly, c) the offerings at these institutions were actually quite limited compared to those at D's chosen LAC. Oddly enough, the state univ. they recommended most highly didn't even have a department or major in the discipline!

    So, we decided to engage in a propaganda campaign. Under the pretense of asking their advice about what courses they feel are essential for an undergraduate curriculum in their field, she showed them her college's course listings and departmental summary, and even sent them a video featuring a blurb about some resources of the department. They were quick to point out some courses they felt were "missing," and then D was able to tell them that indeed those courses were offered but in other departments and that she planned to take them.

    What blossom suggests seems very wise. Find out what employers are looking for and find a way to acquire those skills and experiences wherever you attend, and then highlight them as you promote yourself.
  • ChardoChardo Registered User Posts: 3,015 Senior Member
    Why is Fairfield your only alternative? Is there nothing affordable closer in perceived prestige to Villanova?
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,324 Senior Member
    Just want to add that internships, volunteering and work experiences during the year or during the summer are, I think, really helpful if the attitude of employers is what you are worried about. More important than where you go to school in many cases.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,478 Senior Member
    Many many kids go to somewhat "less prestigious" schools where they have merit scholarships that make the school affordable, or end up at state schools rather than bigger name private schools.

    The best ways to help with is to: 1) do great in college in terms of courses taken and grades; 2) get involved in activities, internships, research work that can help set you apart from the crowd; and 3) note the merit scholarship on the resume (ex. Presidential Scholar or whatever it is called).

    And FWIW Fairfield is a fine school where your D can get a great education and get where she wants to go in life.
  • colfac92colfac92 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    Even Ivy graduates will try to spruce up their resumes in the manner JHS describes in an effort to stand out from the rest of their cohort....
  • tdy123tdy123 Registered User Posts: 333 Member
    edited April 21
    There is a jest that well illustrates the absurdity of this issue. It goes: Harvard Law grads spend their entire lives dreading being asked how come they didn't make it into Yale Law. Bottom line is that no matter how prestigious a school, there is always something more prestigious (except, apparently, for Yale Law, LOL) so just don't sweat it.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,059 Senior Member
    That's not entirely true, blossom, There are always some District Court judges who equal or exceed the prestige of most Court of Appeals judges, and even a few (gasp!) state court judges who confer prestige.

    It also helps to know that traditionally being Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal means your peers think you are nice and good at doing boring things but not necessarily very interesting, while being President of the Harvard Law Review means that you won a kind of brutal intellectual Thunderdome cage match elimination tournament, although there still may be one or two other people in your year whom everyone considers smarter than you.

    And of course not every Supreme Court Justice is considered equal . . .
  • poblob14poblob14 Registered User Posts: 406 Member
    My father was disappointed in me until the day he died, because I couldn't get into Notre Dame. Well, he was disappointed in me for lots of reasons, but that was a big one. I'm trying hard to avoid that with my daughter; she's going to a "less prestigious" school for financial reasons. (Maybe if I'd gone to ND, we could have afforded the other school . . . :D )

    Really, though, I've never been very interested in prestige; I can proudly state that I was kicked off the Southern Illinois University Law Journal for slacking off. (Or am I bragging about being selected in the first place? ;) )
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,127 Senior Member
    JHS, my post was tongue in cheek.... of course there are gradations of "prestige" within the court system, within the DA's offices, EDNY vs. SDNY for prosecutors, etc and my post was intended in no way to disparage ANY form of public service in the judiciary. What I was trying to communicate is how absurd it is to lead your life watching the scoreboard... and somehow trying to apologize for landing up on the 9th Circuit vs. the 2nd Circuit....
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 971 Member
    edited April 21
    Just say you got into HYPSM but didn't go to save money; that might get you the job if you have good grades. IMO, prestige matters for only top 20 or even fewer colleges. When I say "prestige matters", I mean the effect the graduation certificate from that school would have on potential employers depending on the region. There are only few schools which would carry prestige across all regions of USA and the world. What I mean to say is I don't see that big difference in prestige between a school ranked 50 and a school ranked 100.

    I also interviewed potential employees to work for me in my company. Although a college name would help the person get an interview, it really comes down to how I perceived their ability and character in all aspects and then the actual work performance.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,059 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    Of course, blossom. I was trying to answer you in kind, and at an even sillier level of refinement.

    To my eternal shame, at one point or another I knew things like how to weigh Rhodes vs. Marshall, before and after Rhodes went co-ed, and who were so smart they didn't need to be on the Harvard Law Review.
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